7 pro tips for perfecting your next TV interview

Mastering your TV presence takes practice, preparation, and confidence. Here are 7 tips to get TV ready and ensure you shine brightly on camera.

1. Dress for success: Choose attire that is professional, comfortable and most importantly makes you feel confident! Avoid distracting patterns, stripes, and white. Bright solid colors are always a great choice and black is slimming on camera. Jewelery is good, but avoid big earrings or necklaces that may interfere with your mic and cause feedback from banging against the mic.

2. Define your goal and message. Use the formula – who is my message for, what to I want them to know, when is it available,, where can they find more about you, and why should the audience care?

3. Develop a structured outline of the segment. I actually create a segment outline for every TV interview. This helps me get a sense of flow, questions to be asked and ensure I can get my main messages in on time. And producers LOVE this as they can also see how the segment will flow and what visuals are needed to accompany the segment. They will most certainly have you back again because you are a prepared guest! Be sure to share any high-quality images or broll video that may be helpful for storytelling your segment.

4. Practice, practice, practice. Practice delivering your segment multiple times, focusing on timing, pacing, and delivery of key messages. Use a mirror or record yourself to gut check your body language, facial expressions, and tone, making adjustments as needed. Get feedback from colleagues, friends, or family members to fine tune your message.

5. Anticipate questions and challenges. Think ahead about any potential questions that could come up and be prepared with answers. If you don’t know the answer, it is okay to say you don’t know, but what you do know is….Always bring it back to your main message and objectives for the segment.

6. Avoid nervous habits and filter words. Do you know what your go-to filler words are? Try to squash your “ums,” “likes” and “you knows” when you practice so you will be less likely to fill in these words on camera. Remember, a pause of silence and a breath is your best friend. You don’t need to fill in the space between your thoughts. Remember to lean forward a bit on your seat to show active listening, avoid large hand movements, and fidgeting.

7. Stay calm and flexible. If the conversation veers off track, gently guide it back to your main message or talking points, while still acknowledging and addressing relevant points raised by others. Remember 3-4 minutes, the average length of a TV segment can go FAST. Stay calm and composed, relax and have fun!